When custom injection mold maker Cadmold Inc. of Sarasota, Fla., reached $3 million in sales last year, Harry Britt, the patriarch of the family business, decided it was time to add a molding operation. Britt opened Cadmold in 1989 with his son Andrew.
``By the time we got to about $3 million a year, we found that injection molders in the area were having trouble just making our samples,'' Harry Britt said.
Cadmold designs molds for computer equipment, electronics and the medical industry, specializing in heavily contoured molds. Customers have included game maker Parker Bros., Sony Corp. of America, Motorola Inc. and Mazda.
In June, the Britts opened Cadmold Plastics Inc., a custom molder with five presses-two 60-tonners, and one each of 90, 150 and 250 tons of clamping force.
Cadmold Group, which comprises Cadmold Inc. and Cadmold Plastics, recently moved from a 7,000-square-foot facility to a new, 16,000-square-foot building, across the street. By year's end, the group plans to add another 6,000 square feet, in warehouse space, Andrew Britt said.
He defined the firm's niche: ``There aren't too many custom molders in Florida that have toolmaking capability. We've grown from a two-man shop and a handful of conventional machines into a 30-person-strong, CAD/CAM-utilizing giant.''
Harry Britt, who started in the mold-making business 35 years ago, moved his family to Dayton, Ohio, from his native Brighton, England, in 1974. In Dayton, he worked for two mold-making companies. He moved again, in 1984, to Fort Myers, Fla., to work in tool design and mold making.
Part of the company's success is the proficiency of another son, Michael, with the Pro-Engineer software of Parametrics Technology Corp. of Waltham, Mass. - which, father Harry notes, ``is becoming the industry standard for mold-making design.''
In fact, Michael was an applications engineer for Parametrics Technology for 18 months before joining the family business.
``He knows the software inside and out,'' Andrew said.
Father and sons will operate the company's custom molding and mold-making businesses. Harry Britt will serve as director of Cadmold Group; Andrew, 28, will be president. Brother Darren, 32, will manage Cadmold Plastics Inc., and Michael, 31, will continue as computer-aided design/manufacturing systems manager.